Eurogamer: Spore Galactic Adventures

By Kieron Gillen on May 12th, 2009 at 12:34 pm.

It puts the evolution on its skin.

Yet more nuzzling for the glorious Eurogamer corporate udder. Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell ordered me to go and observe the forthcoming Spore malarkies. And I brought back words and opinions. There’s some stuff on Wii-game Spore Hero, but I concentrate on Spore Galactic Adventures which… well, it could be onto something. I can’t really paraphrase the argument to a couple of sentences, but I’d recommend you work through it and see what you think. While I suspect Spore’s burnt all its goodwill in the RPS comments thread, it does present a fairly novel away forward from what Spore actually became.

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29 Comments »

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  1. army of none says:

    Given that I had really hoped Spore would be good, and (as is noted in the article), the bits about creating and the bits about playing both failed horribly, I’m not getting any hopes up at all.

  2. Songbearer says:

    In before Spore hate, I enjoyed it and am getting the expansion. Giggle giggle.

  3. Dominic White says:

    Spore is one of those games that is almost universally loved by people who don’t normally buy games, I’ve noticed. It is anathema to nerds, however. There are some amazing comments on the Eurogamer article already, including one guy claiming to have been put off gaming permanently by the sheer offensiveness of Spore.

    It’s like some kind of freakish honeypot for angry internet men.

  4. jay says:

    That actually sounds really good.
    Interesting ideas there I hope they pull it off.
    However, creating a story is a step up (to say the least) from creating a creature.

  5. Premium User Badge

    abhishek says:

    Spore was just too big of a letdown for a lot of gamers. It had so much going for it… created by Will Wright, extremely impressive E3 presentations where he talked about paradigm shifts in gaming and a very long development cycle during which people assumed he was, indeed, redefining gaming itself. Instead what was released was a disjoint series of poorly implemented mini games.
    While hyperbole is part and parcel of the internet, I don’t think it would be unfair to say that Spore was one of the biggest letdowns of the decade for many people. And now you see EA getting into the picture with their standard practice of milking the game to kingdom come.
    On the other hand, after reading Mr. Gillen’s thoughts on EG, I can’t help wondering whether Spore can actually realize it’s potential after the inevitable 6-8 expansions. It does seem from the article that they are trying to plug the glaring gaps that existed in the original game.

  6. Rei Onryou says:

    I “finished” recently and found the more it went on, the less sure I was of what I thought of it. A toy is the best description, rather than a game. Parts were fun, but the long term space stage seemed to not be sure exactly what it wanted you to do. Galactic Adventures looks like it could solve this, but its not for me.

  7. Xocrates says:

    I still find that the only real flaw in Spore is how badly overhyped it was by both publishers and audience. However, given what we’ve come to expect for the games industry (and advertising in general), I still find it pretty odd that I seem to be one of the few people (and veteran gamer) cynical enough to expect the game to deliver what it did, and therefore having actually been able to enjoy the game.

    That said, galactic adventures does seem interesting, although getting it is not in my immediate plans.

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    abhishek: The expansion does seem to help complete the train of thought which Spore started, if you see what I mean.

    KG

  9. SwiftRanger says:

    Spore was very decent for the most part and this looks even better. People complaining about hype should have taken note of the actual words in those previews/reviews because they all pretty much described exactly how this game was going to turn out. It ain’t a classic and not a 90%+ game in my book but it didn’t let me down either and I am definitely not a casual gamer, I just got my expectations right that Spore wasn’t going to be five perfect different games combined for one price.

  10. Iain "DDude" Dawson says:

    Fool me once… Spore burnt all the goodwill I held towards it by being crap. ‘Nuf said.

  11. phil says:

    Wasn’t the last unsettling ‘cute’ alien to get a Galactic Adventure Jar Jar Blinks?

    Unfortunate nuking of fridges references asides, this looks good.

  12. Carlo Zottmann says:

    This is all well and good, but excuse me for asking: does the green lizard space man in the picture really have an erection?

  13. phil says:

    @Carlos

    He’s either belly holstered a fairly sizeable plasma pistol or yes indeed, Mr. Lizard is pleased to see you.

  14. Larington says:

    I’m not quite sure what everyone thought they were going to get before Spore was released, but evidently it was far more than is practical considering what it was trying to achieve.

  15. Super Bladesman says:

    I suspect Spore may be one of those games I accidentally re-discover and quite enjoy in a year or so – once I’ve forgotten all the hype :D

    It really wasn’t that bad a game – not so bad as some make out.

  16. Freudian Trip says:

    From the (very low) sample I’ve gathered, gamers girlfriends love a bit of spore. I think what Spore lacked was depth in it’s gaming mechanics which will obviously piss off people that play games all the time but as something to keep the pretty lady, that probably wouldn’t go near it without some handy-dandy peer pressure, entertained it works. /sexism

  17. DK says:

    Spore is “The Sims: Non-human Edition”. You can see that in the expansion-explosion, the target audience and the gameplay.

    Spore’s also the only non-Descent game that ever made me feel motion sick – no idea why.

  18. bansama says:

    Meh. It could be the best thing since sliced bread, but after the sheer pain of trying to install Spore and the parts pack, I’m not going to waste my time.

    If EA ever see fit to sell it over Steam with an option to buy it in English in either the UK or Japan (preferably both), then I might buy it. But retail? Never again. Way too much annoyance, especially with the tendacy of Spore to suddenly forget you’ve even installed the parts pack, requiring a complete uninstall and reinstall with a high chance of losing all your saves — even if you do back them up (importing them back in doesn’t always work).

  19. wyrmsine says:

    It sounds very intriguing, but I’m loath to sink more money into Spore. I felt it wasn’t worth what I paid the first time, y’know? No, it wasn’t as bad as many said, but at best it was a fine concept and short on actual game – I don’t really want to pay to fix that.

    ETA: that said, I’ve been oddly compelled to re-install it. I liked making the zoomy ships with the pew-pew lasers.

  20. Thomas Lawrence says:

    My main problem with Spore was not that the game mechanics weren’t very satisfying, but that I had to engage with them at all in order to get at the toy elements I really wanted to mess with.

    Earning money was a colossal pain that couldn’t really be automated, but if I wanted to (say) experiment with making creatures really huge, it’d cost me a great whack of cash every time.

    General empire maintenance gave me a series of eventually tedious things to do, when what I really wanted was to just fly around space doing whatever came to mind. I ended up eventually abandoning my empire entirely and teleporting through about eighty wormholes until I was safely on the other side of the galaxy, and then pointedly ignoring any and all cries fo r help. That was much more entertaining, although I was till hamstrung by how much everything cost.

    I wanted more toy and less game.

  21. Dizet Sma says:

    There are a lot of Spore mods that take away lots of the tediousness mentioned by Mr Lawrence, making it a better ‘toy’ experience, IMHO.

  22. Zack says:

    Does anyone remember EVO for the SNES? That’s what Spore Hero sounds like. I bet that game doesn’t hold up at all but it sure enraptured 10-year-old me.

  23. Gap Gen says:

    Is Spore Hero like Guitar Hero but with a giant mushroom?

  24. clive dunn says:

    my 9 year old nephew really really liked Spore and it was lovely to see him fall in love with a game rather than just glazed-eyed playing the latest disposable FIFA on his x-toaster.
    I got bored half way through, but then i tend to get bored half way through anything nowadays.

  25. apnea says:

    In during ‘Spore hate’/informed dissatisfaction by EA consumers.

    If that dreaded ‘Internet Anger’ meme that seem so disquieting to many people here ever needed confirmation (which I doubt, seeing as fictional entities rarely demand real-world confirmation), Spore would be it.

    All this said, of course that expansion thing will ameliorate the Spore experience. It’s not as if the initial product was terribly difficult to live up to, right?

  26. Stromko says:

    I’m looking forward to this expansion actually, it would seem to fix one of my major disappointments. It should give creatures, vehicles, etc an actual purpose outside of a 10-30 minute minigame, since we can now use them as props in missions.

    They have these amazing editors, technological marvels really, but each actual game you spend just a few minutes with each creation and then never get to do anything with them again.

    Then you get to the space phase and spend 10 – 30 hours maxing out badges, you get to access most/all of the relevant editors again, but they no longer matter, it’s pure aesthetics. What the crap? These editors are probably 90% of Spore’s development time and then they give us no reason to use them for 90% of the average game. (Not counting the time it takes to actually USE the editors– I remember I spent about 10 hours making perfect Thraddash. Sadly they got banned from the servers because they had cigars)

    I’m hoping this expansion will provide the variety that the most drawn out and boring phase in the game desperately needs. I’ve seen some really amazing builds and this should at least give me a chance to look at them up close and interact with them (even if ‘interact’ just means ‘destroy’ as it usually does in Spore’s Space phase).

  27. Thants says:

    Zack: I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers EVO. I was kinda just hoping that Spore would be an updated version of that.

  28. apnea says:

    EVO was king!

  29. StenL says:

    @Zack: I assure you that EVO is still just as awesome as back then, everybody should get a SNES emu right now and play that, such an awesome game should not be forgotten.